Dragon Con 2014: Goodbye Clone Wars, Hello Rebels

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This past weekend saw Dragon Con come and go. Fans of everything from Doctor Who to Harry Potter met in Atlanta to costume, hang with friends, and generally geek-out over all their favorite things. For us Star Wars fans though, there was one place at the con we just had to congregate. The Star Wars Track room at the Marriott. This is where you could find all the great Star Wars panels and a room packed full of like-minded fans.

One such panel took place on Friday and was titled “Goodbye Clone Wars, Hello Rebels.” The title kind of gives you an idea what the panel was all about. Fans from a number of different Star Wars fan sites were on the panel to discuss the passing of the animated series The Clone Wars and also to welcome the new animated series coming in October, Star Wars Rebels.

On the panel was our own Bethany and Riley Blanton, Brian Novicki from EU Cantina, Bria from Tosche Station, Amy Ratcliffe from StarWars.com, Tom Hutchens from the Mandalorian Mercs, and James Clarke from BobaFett.com.

The panel started with everyone introducing themselves and talking about what they missed most from The Clone Wars. Then the discussion moved onto more specific subjects.

On the subject of Ahsoka Tano, Tom said he didn’t initially like the idea of the character but she eventually grew on him. All the panelists seemed to agree that they were sad to see her ultimately leave the show. Amy lamented that she really wanted to see more of Ahsoka’s story and mentioned Asajj Ventress here as well. James was just happy to see she survived because he had fears we would see her death in the show.

The conversation moved on to other characters like Anakin and Obi-Wan. Brian believed that Anakin’s reaction to Ahsoka leaving may have informed some of the decisions he made in Revenge of the Sith. He also said he enjoyed watching the progression of Anakin throughout the run of The Clone Wars and how hints of darkness would occasionally come out. Bria and Amy both sang the praises of how The Clone Wars showed Anakin and Obi-Wan as friends better than the films ever did.

Favorite characters and episodes were discussed among other things. Brian brought up the parallels between Anakin and Obi-Wan and how Obi-Wan could have made similar mistake in his relationship with Satine. The talent of the voice actors was also a subject with James specifically pointing out Sam Witwer’s portrayal of Darth Maul as a personal favorite.

Next the crowd was treated to a viewing of the full trailer for the upcoming season of Star Wars Rebels. This was a nice transition into the panelists talking about elements from the much anticipated animated series coming to Disney XD.

Tom said he was really looking forward to seeing how the crew of the Ghost will come together as a team. James remarked that the crew, as we have seen them so far, reminds him of the crew assembled in the Knights of the Old Republic video game. He also said he is most looking forward to the Mandalorian Sabine as a character, which isn’t surprising coming from a big fan of Boba Fett. Bria said she was more interested in Hera and mentioned her portrayal in the newly released novel A New Dawn.

Amy had already had the privilege of seeing the premiere episode of Star Wars Rebels, and she said any expectations she had were far surpassed. She admitted she was initially bitter that The Clone Wars had ended and didn’t really want a new show. But, she said the characters in Rebels were “heartwarming” yet cautioned not to be worried that the show has been “Disneyfied.” “It’s Star Wars”, she said. Bethany admitted she had her reservations about Rebels as well, but since seeing the trailers and hearing from the voice actors at Star Wars Weekends, she is confident that the show will be great.

The panel was fun and entertaining, and all the panelists did a great job. Much more was talked about than I put into this recap. The panelist didn’t agree on everything, but I think the consensus was that they were all very sad to see The Clone Wars go but are extremely excited for the coming of Star Wars Rebels.

I agree with that sentiment wholeheartedly.

Aaron Goins

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